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What is the most important driver to realize the target?

driver keydriver target
New answer on May 01, 2020
6 Answers
1.4 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 26, 2020

Hi guys,

What does it mean when a case question asks "What is the most important driver to realize the target?"

Does realizing the target means to identify the target market? If so, what is the most important driver to help a firm realize their target market? I've considered demographics, however, would demographics be considered a driver to identify the target market?

The case revolves around a new company that has a sustainability focus.


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replied on Apr 26, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers


This is a typical brainstorming question. Brainstorming questions in MBB interviews are essentially exercises in top-down thinking.

  • As for all brainstorming questions, you have to first define your objective (usually this is a quantifiable metric).
  • Then you have to disaggregate each element of the definition into its components.
  • Then you derive the potential influencing factors for each of the components, before then developing ideas on how to affect these influencing factors into the desired direction.

This is also true for non-profit situations. E.g.:

"How to improve the education system in country XYZ?"

  1. You have to define, what improvement means! Otherwise structuring is impossible! It could, e.g., be number of children entering the school system, or number of graduates generated by the school system, or quality of these graduates, etc. So let's for example assume it is "number of children going to school"
  2. Then you disaggregate this definition into its logical drivers (which determine whether families send their children to school). E.g., you could structure drivers into financial reasons (school fees, cost of school material, opportunity cost of children not helping generate family income anymore), logistical reasons (distance of schools, etc.), psychological reasons (attitude towards "western" education, etc.)
  3. Then you can develop ideas how to influence each dirver in the desired direction.

Cheers, Sidi

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Anonymous replied on Apr 26, 2020

Hey there,

No I don't think that is what it means. The target is not necessarily equal to identifying target market. You should first understand what the objective of the case is, and whether there is a certain level or numer against which the objective can be considered as achieved or not. E.g. The objective can be to increase sales revenue; the target is $5 Billion a year in revenue; realizing the target means achieving the $5 Bn/year target; and to find out what is the most importan driver, you need to break down the revenue drivers first and then determine which one is key.

Hope it helps,


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Content Creator
replied on Apr 27, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


What I understand from what you are saying is related to "looking at the problem putting on the client´s glasses".

It´s a much wider concept than target markets.

It basically means that you always need to clarify what is success for the client, in order to target the case as good as possible from the beggining.

For this, is useful also to clarify whether they have some KPIs that are key for them (e.g., we want to break even in 2 years time)

Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
replied on Apr 27, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

the target of the client is the final objective to achieve. Assuming you know the target, the most relevant driver is the most relevant variable that can help to reach that goal.

For example, if the goal of the client is to increase revenues, you could analyze the components that constitute the revenues (ie the price and the volume, with the volume defined as number of customers and amount per customers) and identify the most relevant one in that situation to achieve the goal of the client (eg number of customers).


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Content Creator
replied on Apr 26, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached


In order to answer an open question like this, a good idea could be to have a structured approach like the following:

  1. Understand what is the goal of your client (quantitative or qualitative)
  2. Once that you know you target, you have to indentify what are the factors that can enable that result, giving a priority to each of them
  3. Now you can use these KPIs to evaluate each alternative, building a "valuation matrix"

Generally speaking is always a good idea to structure your reasonings and answers in a "slide format". Having such a structured approach will impress your interviewer and will make it really easy for you to justidy your answers.


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Content Creator
replied on May 01, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi, it depends on the problem. It really important to quantify the target. Then you can ask for a minute, think about every kpi involved in the case and understand what is the most important and why

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